Here’s a recent article “ Finding Musical Sanctuary in the Slums of Caracas” that was written up in the Toronto Star newspaper on Saturday (April 24th) about El Systema by William Littler.
This free music program for youth in the Caracus, Venezuelan slums has become globally renowned and as a result Canadians are connecting with it in numerous ways. One example that Littler points out is that it “has champions …including those in St. John, N.B., and Ottawa who have established youth orchestra programs inspired by what has happened in Venezuela.”
Littler talks about the benefits of the music program on the lives of the youth participants which include: life skills development, respect, and self-discipline. This is a valuable outcome of community development through the arts, even though less than 10 per cent of these students become professional musicians- the importance of this complex program is not in the amount of musicians that it creates but the positive social change that it has brought to the youth of Venezuela and also the inspiration it has provided for many across the globe.